"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

Friday, April 27, 2012

MFW 1st Grade Math - Measuring

During math this week I pulled out some worksheets for Caleb to do that touched on measuring.  They were easy-peasy really.  He ran and found the yard stick and asked to go outside to measure things.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE homeschool.  I told him as soon as our required stuff was done we could go out and measure whatever he wanted.  

And we did.  We measured everything in sight!

Our shrubs:

Hay bales:

Bird bath:

Boards around the walkway:

A water bottle found in the yard:

A hole in the ground, that you unfortunately cannot see in this picture....But, it's a hole:

A stick:

The trampoline:

Nope, the yardstick did not quite fit under the trampoline:

Air conditioner:

The slide on his playset:

And the fish pond:

How incredibly fun!!  All his idea, too!  Love it when learning is a blast!!

In His Name,


MFW 1st Grade - Week #25


Memory verse:   If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  Proverbs 25:21

Bible stories and timeline additions for the week were Jonah, Babylonian Conquest, The Fiery Furnace, Daniel & the Lions

After I read the bible story to Caleb, we then go sit on the couch and he reads the bible story to me from his bible reader.  He is to then work on summary sentences.  I really can't recall whether I explained the format on here before, but at the beginning of the year he was only to write the title of the story in his bible notebook.  Then later it changed to writing a summary sentence.  As time has gone on he is encouraged to write several sentences.  Of course, illustrating is always encouraged as well.  

As the teacher I am not to correct any spelling, but just let him do his "thing."  Well, that is all great in theory, but hasn't exactly gone perfectly for us.  Caleb lacks confidence in his spelling.  And if it's wrong, "we" have a meltdown.   He loves the stories, listens to the stories, can tell them back to me and offer the main points without much issue.  But he struggles with coming up with sentences and then just writing them on his own.  Most of the time I ask him questions about the story and he is able to tell me some sentences that way.

So, after a bit of research and consulting amongst my counterparts, MFW moms/teachers, I've decided to go with a more Charlotte Mason approach - which is where MFW tends to go anyway.   We'll continue as we are for the most part.  I will let Caleb tell me his summary sentences and for the next couple of weeks I'll write them and let him do it as copy work.  As certain aspects of our school day are winding up, we are going to be expected to read a bible story and write in the bible notebook every day, rather than every other day or so.  

With that in mind, he'll be getting much more copy work in and in addition handwriting practice.  I'm certain by the time we wrap up school he'll be able to do more of this "one his own."  

With only about three books of the bible left on our list we decided to mark them all off!!  Yeah!!  We are still going to say them every day as Caleb doesn't have them all memorized yet.  He can get big chunks of them right, but has one here and there that catches him up.  I'm so proud of all that he can say by memory!

Reading concepts for the week - we touched on irregular plurals and antonyms.  Deeper concepts, but Caleb did great!

With this worksheet he was to write the plural form of the singular words listed.  He had a word bank at the top of the page to pull from.

And here he had a worksheet on antonyms (opposites).  He had to take the words at the top of the page and match them with their opposite, then writing it on the the leaf.

 We are very near the end of our workbook.  In his excitement, Caleb asked to do an extra page today.  I didn't tell him that it was an optional page, or he would have opted NOT to want to do it!  LOL  If you look at the words, you'll see why.  Some of them are pretty tough.  But, once he understood that the "ci" "si" "ti" and "ch" can sometimes sound like "sh" he was able to read them without much trouble.  At the bottom of the page he had to read words that had an "s" in them that sounded like "zh".

I think I mentioned in last weeks post that Caleb was still mixing up his "b" and "d".  It's not every single time, but if it's a word he isn't familiar with yet, he often times says the wrong letter.  I'm watching him closely as I know that this is a sign of dyslexia.  BUT, at the same time, over 1/2 of the other MFW mom's say their child is still mixing them up also.  And they are the only letters he's stumbling over, except for "p" upon occasion.  I found these cute cards from a website on-line www.blog.maketaketeach.com.  He can look at them at it helps him to remember which letter goes which way.  It is definitely helping!

MATH:  Okay, so blogging about math can be pretty boring.  I haven't posted any of his worksheets in a while because they just seemed like same old, same old stuff.  I decided to throw a few on here this week so you could see that, yes, we are doing math.  ;o)  I'm still mixing things up a little.  Sometimes he does worksheets that I've created, sometimes we pull pages from the Complete Book of Math, sometimes we're working on Singapore Math, and I also pull worksheets that apply to what we are studying from a Horizon's math book I have.  

When I pull from Horizons math - it's really to refresh or go over something we've already covered somewhere else.  Sometimes concepts get forgotten when not used and this is a way for me to help him remember things we've talked about.  Horizons teaches in a spiral effect, I think that's what they call it.  They keep spiraling through the concepts, so they don't get forgotten.  

Here are the bean and money cup - bean cup is getting full for sure!

Laid them out to count them.

He even wanted to have a little fun with them today and made a "face" out of his bean sticks.

As you can see, lots of great fun this week and definitely some learning going on.  We've had some really good days since the principal's talk with the student.  Sometimes that just has to happen.  I'm proud of Caleb for realizing how he was acting and being more conscientious of doing better.  Randomly, during our school day he'll say, "Mom, we're having a really good school day today...."  Just warms my heart!

In His Name,


MFW 1st Grade - Week #24


Bible stories & Timeline Additions for the week were Elijah & King Ahad and Elisha Heals Naaman.

Memory verse - There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.  Proverbs 21:30

Reading Rules studied were words with  "ce, ci, cy"and we touched on the dictionary and putting things in alphabetical order.  This is not a very clear picture, but Caleb had four word lists and had to put the words in alphabetical order.  He really did well with this.   He only wrote one word out of order and that was because he flipped his "b" to a "d", which he still does occasionally.  

I liked this workbook page.  He had to read words with the new rule involving "ce, ci, & cy" and the sentence at the bottom of the page.  Of course, Caleb rarely likes to illustrate anything, but today he asked me to look up a circus tent on the internet.  And he did his very best to draw one.  He's come a long way from the beginning of the year, don't you think?

Of course, I HAD to take a picture of our reading chart all colored in.  How great is that?  We've covered all the rules and for the rest of the year we are going to read, read, read, to reinforce the rules and get lots of practice.

MATH:  We continued with our Singapore Math book for a couple of days this week which involved learning more about number bonds (families).  Then for some reason Caleb started stumbling a little on math problems.  So, I took a step back and gave him some math pages FULL of addition problems.  He knew them.  I guess he was just having a little trouble focusing.  But, I decided to continue with the addition problems to try to reinforce them and help him try to put more to memory.  

SCIENCE:  Our science this week was science with water and was titled Air & Water Tricks.  I've opted to save this one and the last one, Water Power, to do later on.  MFW doesn't emphasize science in 1st grade and stays to more hands-on fun type of learning.  We're going to do these, but right now I felt our motivation needed to be in the lesson that were proving to be more challenging and those that are really required to complete for the year.  It will be great fun to have another science day soon where we' can compile several lessons all together.  Caleb really enjoyed that when we did it last time.  

MUSIC and ART:  I'm discovering that it's really hard to teach these things to a child who really isn't interested in them.  I'll admit it, when I turn on the CD to talk about music Caleb's eyes just glaze over, and I think mine sorta do, too.  So, I've taken the easy way out and we've skipped over these concepts.  I'm going to try again after we've completed the workbook and some of the other activities.   I'm thinking if we have those pressures off of us, I can spend a little more time making those music and art activities a bit more fun.  I'd really like to at least touch on the 1st grade concepts - - even though they have seemed a bit boring to me as well.  Ha ha!   On another note:  the stuff for 2nd grade looks like more fun, so if all else fails we'll dig into it more with 2nd grade.

Well, this covers the highlights of the week.  What a blessed week of school it was!!

In His Name,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MFW 1st Grade - Week #23


Weekly memory verse - "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."  Proverbs 29:25

Bible stories for the week:  David & Goliath, David Has an Enemy & Friend, Solomon, and Israel Splits into Two Countries

Reading rules for the week:  "-er" and "-est"   and   "r" spelled "wr" and "m" spelled "mb"

BIBLE ACTIVITIES:  We talked about David this week and it was known how much he loved to play the harp as well as other instruments, and he even loved to sing.  He wrote many songs to God.  With that in our minds we made a very simple Lyre out of a plastic hanger and rubber bands.

Once done, we hung it up in our classroom to remember the fun we had that day, giggling that it really wasn't going to sound like a harp.

Making Jewels:

With our study of King Solomon, we made a crown with jewels, since King Solomon was a very rich man.  We squirted glue on a sheet of aluminum foil and waited for the glue to dry.

Then we colored the jewels with markers - making them nice and bright!!

The crown was made from a file folder and we covered it with more aluminum foil.

Then Caleb attached the jewels, placing them in the perfect spots!!

Two minutes before I was about to hit "send" and submit this blog post, Caleb decided he did want his picture taken with his crown on.   So, here you go.....


We had a visitor in our home school today.  It's always fun when we have visitors.  Makes the day a little more fun than normal.  Today we had - Super Monkey!

He tended to get himself in a little bit of trouble though.....

TIMELINE REVAMPING:  This week we added King Solomon and the dividing of Israel and Judah to our timeline.  We also decided to take our timeline down from resting along the edge of the shelf in our classroom.  I thought about it some and realized that I would prefer that our timeline be a more hands-on item and something we can put on our bookshelf and pull out when we need to reference it.  So, at the recommendation of another MFW user, we taped together multiple file folders, cutting off the edges and moved our timeline pieces onto it.  I think this is going to work a whole lot better for us.

MATH:  I honestly do not want to look back to see if I've mentioned this already.  Call it lazy, or call it better management of time.  It's okay, really.  Call it whatever you like.  The point I'd like to really make is that I've not felt we've done our best in math for the 2nd part of the school year.  During this time we were supposed to repeat at a higher level what was done for the 1st half of the year.  I recently realized that, as the teacher, I needed something a little more structured.  Since I already had our 2nd grade material on the shelf, AND since we're starting in the beginning of that curriculum, I decided there really wasn't a single thing getting in the way of us just starting that math program.  I think it will give him a much better foundation.  It has assigned textbook and workbook pages for each lesson.  So far, we're loving it!!

This math curriculum is called, Singapore Math, for the very reason it was developed in Singapore.  The word on the homeschool street is that it is a more challenging math and not all kids are geared the way these math concepts are taught.  But, MFW recommends it, so that is where we are going to start.  If it appears that Caleb is struggling with the way math is taught, then we will switch to something else.  There are many really good programs out there.  Finding the right one for your child is the challenging part.  Let me say again though, Caleb really seems to "get" it so far.

SCIENCE:  This weeks science project is from our Science with Water book, and involves Water Power.  I thought it would be fun for dad to work on this lesson with us, so I'll post the results of that activity at a later date.

IN CLOSING:   I cannot believe our school year is rapidly coming to a close.  We only have 10 more books of the bible to talk about and t10 more days of work in our student work book - otherwise known as the "bluebook" at our house, and Caleb's least favorite thing to do each day.  We closed out the week with number of the day being 90 (and 10 more days until 100 days of school.)  Coincidence that all these items have 10 left?  I think not!!  It's all part of the MFW Plan.  ;o)  When those items that are down to ten are completed does that mean our school year is over?  Ummm, no.  From that point forward things will change a little bit.  We will begin our study of the New Testament.  Caleb will be asked to read from his bible reader every day instead of every other day.  He will also be asked to come up with summary sentences for his bible notebook every day instead of every other day.  Our science will turn from science with water to science with plants.  Should be interesting as we have a family garden and Caleb has already been very involved in that process helping his dad.  It is also at this time that we will hit math pretty hard and go over all the reading rules and set those in stone before our year is over.

I'm only going to allow a couple of weeks break and then we'll roll right into 2nd grade.  I'd like to start in June instead of waiting until August this year.  I think it would be great to go with a year-round schedule simulating Randy's year-round school schedule.  That way when Randy is here for a break from school, Caleb and I can take a break as well and not have to do school with him here. We can all break together and have a good time!

As always I ask for prayer.  I'm not embarrassed to do so.  The month of March continued to be a struggle on the home school front.  In my heart I'm committed, but when a 6 yr old decides they don't want to school it can make for some very long and exhausting home school days.  I began to question whether this was something I could really continue to do.   The season of ugly, which is what I've decided to call it, came to a close when the principal stepped in and had a talk with the student.  Nothing like a bit of counsel to help one get straightened out.  It was almost precious really.  One of those man to man type talks.  No raised voices, no belittling of the little guy, none of that.  I am ever so proud of our principal for his clear thoughts and judgement.  We've had good days since that talk and I am SOOOO grateful.  I really wanted to do Adventures in MFW for 2nd grade.  It looked like so much fun.  I was beginning to have visions of Caleb in Skidmore ISD and me at home doing MFW 2nd grade all by myself!!

Walking with the King,